Hollywood Voices | Interviews with stars of the Golden Age of American Cinema
CHANNEL | Other
RECORDED | circa 1978
DURATION | 15 minutes 47 seconds
In this unedited recording James Stewart, the actor who became known as the embodiment of 'everyman' talks about his Hollywood career. As well as recalling his roles in films such as 'Mr Smith Goes to Washington' (1939) and 'It's a Wonderful Life' (1946), Stewart describes how his acting career began while he was studying architecture. Stewart's recollections of the early days of film production in Hollywood differ from those of many stars as he remembers the 'studio system' favourably and expresses a preference for having one person in charge at the top to situations in which every decision has to be passed by committee.
James Stewart is pictured above as Mr Smith in the film 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' (1939).
This unedited interview is presented as it was originally recorded. Therefore there are changes in the sound levels and there may be some interruptions and interference from background noise. Parts of the interview were used in the 1979 radio series 'Movie Moguls'.
James Stewart was over 6ft 3in tall and very thin. He was rejected by the US Army Air Corps for being underweight when he first tried to enlist during World War II, but subsequently managed to gain enough weight to pass the test by one ounce. He went on to command an Eighth Air Force bomber squadron in Europe and ended the war with the rank of colonel, decorated with the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster.
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